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Subject: Stranger on a Train Chapter three This story is a work of fiction and no character in it is based on any real person living or dead. Where officials are described they are in no way intended to represent any real person who holds those offices, although I recognise that the Metropolitan Police does have some brave officers and that the “system”, however desensitised nowadays, does have some caring people within it. This story may include some sexual activity , though only of a gentle and loving nature, but there will be no graphic descriptions and those looking for pornography are advised to look elsewhere.There are pictures of some of the characters in this story on Jacob Lion’s website along with his story, “A Neglected Boy” also serialized on Nifty. If you like this story, you’ll certainly like his. You can find his website at: https://jacoblion.weebly/ If you wish to contact me for feedback, I can be reached ook. Nifty is kind enough to enable us to write and to read these stories so please consider making a donation. It costs money to run a site like fty/donate.html Stranger on a train Chapter three by Jonah Monday morning was cold, as you would expect a January morning to be. Silently I tiptoed to the bathroom, showered and did other things then , dressing hurriedly, I woke Simon and then started breakfast. I prepared scrambled eggs and toast, then heated some milk to pour over the cornflakes. By the time Simon and Peter were up, breakfast was on the table. Luke had not appeared, but there was no reason to disturb him yet. We breakfasted and I gave Simon the bus money for him and Peter. A quick kiss and they were off to school.I crept back upstairs and lay on the bed beside the still-sleeping Luke. After half an hour I felt him stirring. “Morning”, I said. “Mmmm! Morning!” he grunted. “Go get yourself a shower,” I told him, “Peter’s left some clothes out for you and breakfast will be ready when you are”. He finally came downstairs, reeking of deodorant and spruced up to the nines. His red hair was combed into a neat fringe and his brown eyes sparkled. The sprinkling of freckles still clustered either side of his nose and the missing tooth gave his smile a certain quality. “Wow! Look at you”, I said. “Breakfast’s on the counter, then I need to have a chat with you before we go out”. “What about?” “Breakfast first” I told him. The chat lasted a matter of minutes. I needed to know that he wanted to stay with us, or nothing that I was about to do would make any sense, and I needed him to know what I was going to have to do to make it legitimate. I was not prepared to go behind his back. He was naturally nervous about my going to the police, but I was ready for that one. “Luke,” I told him, “I’m not going to creep into the police station while you’re not looking. I’m sitting here and telling you everything that I’m going to do. I won’t do anything on your behalf without telling you about it first. You already know that those two boys aren’t my sons. Their father was a policeman – a very brave man who was killed saving others. Simon will show you his medal if you ask him. The police are here to help us, and right now you need their help to ensure that you can have all the things that you’ve a right to because you live in this country”. He was still nervous, but agreed to trust me. That made ME nervous, but my course was plain. We got wrapped up warm and then walked through the woods to Monica’s bungalow. After supping a cup of Monica’s tea, I said my farewells and headed for Rayner’s Lane tube station. I took the tube one stop to South Harow and then walked to South Harrow Police Station. I asked the young constable on the desk if PC Drage was on duty. “Bob’s on duty but he’s out on a job at the moment,” said the young man. “I can ask him to call in when he’s finished if you want to wait Jonah, or is there something someone izmit escort else can help you with?” “Well it’s a bit… ” I began, “wait…. you know me?” “You’re the bloke looking after Vijay Khan’s boy’s”, he replied, “Every policeman around here knows you”. That came as a surprise. I knew that Bob Drage would know me, because he’d been the one who told me about Vijay’s death, amd later he was the one who told me I had custody of the boys, but being ‘known to the police’ usually has quite different connotations. I said that out loud and the youngster grinned. “You’re not wrong”, he said, “but most of us get a warm feeling when it doesn’t mean that. The name Jonah Cummings will get you a cup of tea in any nick in North London if you’re passing – talking of which – if you’re waiting for Bob…..” I needed no second invitation. Three minutes later I was seated the other side of the bullet-proof glass and supping a cup of tea with PC Jason Roberts. The duty sergeant looked in, “Jason, can I have a word,?” he began, then, “Oh sorry Mr Cummings, I didn’t realise it was you. Carry on constable”. “See what I mean?” said Jason. I nodded. Then I explained to Jason what I wanted to see Bob about. “Bob’ll definitetly want to help you with that”, he told me. “He’s been looking for Luke since Christmas. Officers from several stations have. I think they were trying to prevent exactly what you’re anxious to prevent. I reckon the lad’s fallen on his feet running into you, if only we can stop Social Services from getting antsy”. That ‘we’ sounded encouraging. “Oh,” said Jason suddenly anxious,”you’ll not have heard about his mum”. “Luke’s mum?” I said, in some surprise. “Janice Calder” he confirmed with a nod, ” vagrant, hooker and junkie. She crawled into the Streetsmart Centre on Clerkenwell Road just before Christmas. She was high on amphetamines and nigh frozen to death. They rushed her into St Barts, but she was dead on arrrival.” “Did you find a next of kin?” I queried. He shook his head. “She’d been shacking up with some bloke down Shadwell way. If we’d found him we might have tried a manslaughter rap. Can’t think of anywhere else she’d have got the drugs. Nobody else at all”. So Luke’s got nobody?” “He’s got you, if we can make it happen……. Bob,” he said to the officer who’d just arrived, “Jonah’s come in for a chat. Can you mind the fort while you’re talking? I need to have a word with Horace.” “Yes of course,” said the newcomer. “What’s the news Jonah?” I told him all about it. Bob looked serious but businesslike” “Right” he said, “well first off, Luke already has a case-worker allocated to him. One of these enthusiastic young ladies who knows the book inside out but can’t take a pee without an authority slip. She’ll tie you up for months and come up with the wrong solution at the last”. “So what do we do”. “We go over her head to the social services director. Tell her the case has altered and it needs a new case-worker. Since two of her previous cases committed suicide we can make a good argument for that. Then we get you filed as a registered foster parent. ” “How long will that take?” “The first we can do now, as soon as Jason is through with the Super. The second will depend on how quickly the director of Social Services can arrange it, but we’ll get a magistrate to grant temporary custody until it can happen” Jason came back suddenly his manner urgent. “Bob, Jonah has an interview with Mrs, Fuller at,Station Road in ten minutes. Horace says you can use blues and twos. You’v a prelim. hearing at the County Court at two thirty, with Mr Strange presiding. You’ll need to get Luke there too”. Bob raised an eyebrow. “That OK with you Jonah?” I shrugged. “If it’s what it takes”, I said. Bob drove us very fast through the streets of Harrow coming to rest at the Social Services offices close to Harrow and Wealdstone Station. yahya kaptan escort We were shown immediately into the office of the director of Social Services. Jenny Fuller was a pleasant looking, well-dressed woman in her late thirties, but with not a hint of grey in her long blonde hair. She asked us to be seated and then opened several files. “Mister Cummings,” she said, “I think I can take Superintendant Horace’s word for it, but I have to ask you in person. Do you actually want to be responsible for Luke Calder?” “Actually, I do, ” I replied.” He’s had a hard life up to now, and it’s time that changed. With your help I intend to see that it does.” She gave a quick tight smile and turned to Bob. “Constable Drage, I understand the police object to Ms Ward being assigned as case worker in this case.” Bob coughed. “Well Ma’am, ” he said, in view of Ms Ward’s record we believe……” “Luke’s file has been forwarded to me”, Mrs. Fuller said abruptly. “Luke no longer has a case worker. Any new developments should be referred directly to me. Superintendant Horace tells me that you have visited Mr Cummings’ home”. “On two occassions”, Bob agreed. “And you still believe this is the best possible arrangrement for Luke?” “I do, and so do a good many of my colleagues,” said Bob. “Including Superintendant Horace”, remarked the director as she lifted her phone and pressed a button. “Carol, I want a full set of foster registration papers drawn up. The hearing’s this afternoon so drop whatever else you’re doing. ….. Yes, both site visits have been carried out and the child interview will have been by the end of today. … Yes that’s right… well just endorse it “Metropolitan Police” they’ve confirmed they’ll sign it off…. thank you Carol.. Yes, have them at the Crown Court for two fifteen, I’ll meet you there.” She put down the phone and turned to me. “Since you’re here, I gather the boy is not at your home?” “No he’s with a family in Pinner”. She handed me an envelope and a pen. “Just jot the address down and off we go. I’m coming in my own car because I don’t trust the police not to get called away and leave me stranded.” She said that with a smile and Bob smiled back. Bob took seriously his superintendant’s permission to use emergency sirens and beacons, but he was considerate enough to switch them off before we pulled up outside Monica’s bungalow. “This is Nurse Hardy’s place”, said Bob. “You know her then?” I asked. “She nursed both of mine when they were little” He said. “Well she’s retired now” I said, “or at least she’s no longer on the payroll”. Bob grinned and rang the doorbell. Jenny Fuller joined us on the doorstep. Luke looked frightened when the big policeman entered the room. Bob had removed his cap and sat down to try to look less intimidating while I performed the introductions. Jenny coughed. “Er, Constable,” she said quietly, “I think you need to have a word with Luke, unless you’d rather Mr. Cummings did it.” Bob dropped to his knees in front of Lukes chair so that he was almost loooking up at the boy. He darted a pleading look at Monica who promptly sat down and put an arm around Lukes shoulder. “Luke, it’s about your mother, son, ” he began. “On Christmas Eve….. ” Luke looked blankly at him. For a split second he tried to look at me for reassurance, but he couldn’t take his eyes from the policeman’s face.. Bob coughed and tried again. “On Christmas Eve….” There was not a dry eye in the room. Luke said nothing but buried his face in Monica’s breast. “You know what I’m going to tell you don’t you son?” Bob continued. “They did everything they could to try to save her, but it wasn’t enough. Now all we can do is help Jonah to save you. I’m sorry son”. As Bob stood Luke broke free of Monica and flung his arms around the big policeman’s waist Bob stood and patted the boy’s head, gebze escort crying unashamedly as Luke cried all over his tunic. Then Luke turned to me. He lifted his arms in an unmistakeable gesture. He was ten years old and too big to pick up, but he was feeling very small at this moment. I lifted him and hugged him as he cried on my shoulder. Jenny broke it up. She coughed and looked at her watch. “Luke, ” she said, “I have to ask some questions about what you want to happen now.” “I just want to go home” he sobbed. “Home?” queried Jenny. “With him” responded Luke, pointing to me. I put him down. “Luke, ” I said, “we have a court hearing in about an hour to try to make that happen. The judge will probably ask you the same questions Mrs. Fuller just did. If you give him the same answers, everything should be alright. Is that OK?” He nodded. “Right, well you get to ride with me in a police car – probably with blue lights and sirens if you’d like that”. He nodded again then giggled shyly. “Well I’m in the back with Luke” said Monica. “Nurse Hardy there’s really no need” said Jenny. Monica looked at Jenny. I’ll try again; Monica LOOKED at Jenny. No still nowhere near. There is no possible way that mere words could convey that look. We set off . Bob, Luke, Monica and myself in the police car, with Jenny trying to keep up in her car. As we entered the court house a pretty young redhead handed Jenny a foolscap envelope. Jenny thanked her, pulled out the papers, flicked through them, pulled one out and wrote something on it. Then she pushed all the papers back into the envelope and handed it back. The redhead walked off down the corridor, knocked on a door and went in. “Time to go in” said Jenny. We entered the courtroom and sat on the front bench. Monica sat in the row behind us. The clerk of the court entered. “All rise” he said loudly. “Greater London Juvenile sessions, Mr. Justice Strange presiding”. A middle aged gentleman in a brown suit mounted to the bench. “Please be seated” he said doing so himself. Jenny rose, “Sir we wish to make an….” “Mrs. Fuller,” said the magistrate,”I think I can assist you in this. Young man, are you Luke Calder?” Luke nodded shyly. “Luke, I’m a magistrate, do you know what one of those is?” Another nod “Well Luke, when I sit on this bench I represent the county administration of Greater London, andthe judiciary of Her Majesty the Queen, but I also represent me. I want to say how sorry I am to hear of your tragic loss. Your mother didn’t deserve to die the way she did, and you didn’t deservethe hardship you have suffered, but it is my job to try to make some of it better. Now Luke I need to ask you some questions, and I think I’m going to do it in private, but I would appreciate it if Nurse Hardy came with us”. We all rose again as the magistrate rose and exitted. The clerk showed Monica and Luke to his rooms. Less than five minutes later they were back. “Mrs. Fuller” began the magistrate, “I apologise for preventing you from putting your case in the usual way, but as it is unopposed there doesn’t seem much point. Mr. Cummings, both the police and the Social services are supporting your application for custody, and your application to be registered as a foster parent. These papers are the registration papers for the latter. I have to ask you, is it your wish to be responsible for Luke Calder?” “It is Sir” I replied. “And is it your wish that I should sign these registration papers , making you a registered foster parent?” It is Sir” I said again. He signed the papers then looked down at me “”There are no words to express”, he said, “how delighted I am to hear you say so. You are registered as a probationary foster parent for six months at the end of which time, unless Social Services objects, you will be a full foster parent. Since you are now a registered foster parent I see no reason not to accede to Social Service’s request to grant you custody of Luke. From this moment he can officially call you what, I’m sure your other boys never will – Father. Congratulations, and congratulations Luke.” “All rise” called the clerk of court.

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